Some of Swiss politician Christoph Blocher’s vast collection of art works by Switzerland’s master painters worth billions finally went on display at the Foundation Pierre Gianadda.

127 pieces from his personal collection are on display from December until June, celebrating Switzerland’s roots, geography, and folk identity, something Blocher has long cherished.

As a former government minister for the Swiss People’s Party, Blocher is his country’s best-known politician. Since the late 1970s he has been in favour of an independent, sovereign Switzerland firmly outside the European Union.

As the majority owner of chemical firm EMS Chemie, Blocher has drawn on his vast fortune to create one of the world’s most prestigious collections of Swiss masterpieces.

His perception of a nation under scrutiny from the outside world clearly reflects in his taste in art. Among many others, the collection features Ferdinand Hodler’s monumental “Retreat from Marignano,” showing the 1515 battlefield defeat which signposts the nation’s move toward neutrality. Hodler's mountainscapes include the Eiger and the Stockhorn above Lake Thun. Other works to be found in this showing are Albert Anker’s 19th-century scenes of peasants celebrating rural life.

In fact in 2015, Blocher paid 4.2 million francs for Anker’s “Wine Festival”, painted in 1865, at a Zurich auction.

As his political career has slowed down, Blocher, has taken up lending selected works to small museums around the country for the benefit of art lovers. We can only admire the unselfishness of this great industrialist for sharing his treasures with the world.

To view works at the foundation click:

To see more of Hodler's works go to: